It’s the early signing period of National Signing Day across the country, and in Texas, you could say it’s a pretty big deal. At this time of year, the state seems so much smaller when you consider there are 17 NCAA Division 1 schools, 12 of which are FBS programs, targeting the best talent in the football factory that is Texas. Then, of course, you have to factor all of the other programs across the country trying to get in on the action too.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) December 16, 2020
This is the challenge for coaches like UTSA’s head coach Jeff Traylor every year. Like everything else this year, that challenge came with an extra twist, in that teams weren’t able to hold camps and get measurables on players or really get to know their personalities. For a program like UTSA that has built a new foundation on character under Coach Traylor, those camps mean a lot.
“Not having camps was the biggest difference,” Traylor said of this recruiting cycle compared to other years, “because you don’t have actual height, weight, speed, vertical, broad, true agility, ‘coach them on the field and see how they react’ situations, so that’s a little different.”
When Coach Traylor came to UTSA just a year ago, he brought a culture of accountability and team-centeredness with his “Triangle of Toughness” philosophy. So now in his first full complete recruiting cycle for the Roadrunners, getting guys who fit that character build is essential.
“There’s a certain culture we want here that’s very important to us,” Traylor told the media on Wednesday. “Length, speed, power, but also culture. Our guys love to practice football, love to play football. We want guys that love to practice and love to play.”
The Roadrunners announced 14 signings on the first day of the commitment period, and look to add more through the spring, all of whom will be young men that will help the football program build upon the success of the first year of the Traylor era.
Appreciate it,can’t wait to be up there!! https://t.co/Ro5s9iiQgB
— Caden Holt (@Caden_holt8) December 16, 2020
Targeting the “210” and recruiting the best talent in the city has been a foundational pillar of the Roadrunners, and players like Rashad Wisdom, Frank Harris, and Sincere McCormick who are San Antonio natives receiving national recognition for their play with UTSA set an example for young recruits who choose to stay in San Antonio to play for the school.
At this moment, UTSA has signed a trio of three-star recruits in the 2021 class from the San Antonio area: Kamron Scott (OL, Judson), Jalen Rainey (DB, Brandeis), and Caden Holt (LB, New Braunfels). Coach Traylor said that he expects up to four more before taking the practice-field in the spring.
In addition to the local signings, UTSA has added six other high school players, three student-athletes from the junior college level, and two transfers from other programs. The highest recruit from the class so far is true-sophomore juco transfer Ron Tatum III (DL, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M) who is a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.
— RonRon🏁 (@rontatum3_) December 16, 2020
Signing day is the first step in the process toward building for next season, and Coach Traylor knows that the next part is up to individuals to come together as a team for the 2021 campaign.
“The biggest help for us right now, to be honest with you, is for me to support our current players in our culture to help teach our new players,” Traylor said Wednesday. “That’s going to be what, going from year one to year two, is going to be the biggest key, because you can tell our team morale, our team chemistry had a lot to do with our success this year, and that’s going to be very important in this transition that we get our culture established. We recruited to that, so these players know what I’m talking about, and they’re all on board with that.”
On December 16, 2020, there’s a lot to look forward to for next season and seeing what these new additions bring to a program that has gone 7-4 in one of the most unique college football seasons ever. The season isn’t over yet for Roadrunner nation yet, as the team still awaits one more announcement – Their opponent for the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on December 26th.
UTSA’s 2021 Early Signees: